Positive Self-Care in the Workplace and Home

Multi-tasking self careBetween dealing with kids at home, COVID, and everyday life, it can get pretty stressful. So how do you practice self-care? What's really important to know and do before it turns into a mental health issue or depression?

Joy Gihana, is the Founder and CEO of Family Life and Beyond. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Legal Laws and a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology. Over the years, she has supported hundreds of clients in need of family and mental health therapy. She also teaches in the faculty of Health Sciences at Norquest College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A proud Rwandan-Canadian, Joy was born in Uganda, grew up in Rwanda, and has resided in Canada for the past ten years.

Joy answers questions like "What is the difference between distress, problems, and illness? Is there a way to prevent the deterioration of mental health?

Everyday self careMental health is an important issue! Nan McKay gives 5 reasons we should all be concerned about self care.  For example:

    • 1 in 5 adults will experience a diagnosable mental illness in any given year.
    • 80% of employees treated for mental illness report improved levels of work productivity and satisfaction.

Another big area of concern is teenage suicide. Joy gives us her suggestions in that area.
Listen to her podcast under Season 2 of the Peace Through Business podcast.
Other resources:
Family Life and Beyond
Baby Steps to Building a Healthy Relationship with Self
Building a Healthy Relationship With an Adult Child 


Big Doings from Small Communities
Shared by Bob Lambert, Executive Director

The Housing Authority of the City of Titusville (HACTV) built Titusville Towers in 1972 as a "seniors only" apartment complex.  The Commissioners decided the Authority needed to do more to serve our senior citizens and worked toward instituting an Assisted Living Program (ALF) for low and moderate income senior citizens.  In 2004 Titusville Towers qualified for an Assisted Living license through the Department of Elder Affairs.

We have been fortunate in keeping our Titusville Towers Assisted Living Facility (TT ALF) healthy and happy during the trying times of COVID-19. Being a facility that houses a Senior Community that are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 it is imperative that we keep them safe. Over the past year, we have adjusted to the multitude of challenges presented by the Coronavirus Pandemic as we continue to maintain services for over 120 residents.  At the same time taking measures to prevent and plan for potential infections. Our main focus is to provide the best care possible in ensuring our residents and staff are in a safe and healthy environment and that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is minimized.

We have kept the spirits of our facility up as we fight this COVID-19 dragon that has been spit-firing adversity at every level. We have maintained control over exposure at the TT ALF, with no major break out of the corona virus and very few positive cases reported. Our efforts have definitely been exceptional in response to the circumstances.  We installed ultra-violet lighting in all common area air conditioning ducts, as mandates were issued we closed the building to visitors.  We initiated staff and visitor temperature reading as well as a Covid-related questionnaire for residents and staff members.

Monthly letters are distributed to our residents, communicating our management activities, areas of available assistance and procedures taken to alleviate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This valuable information is helping our residents to maneuver through the daily impact of COVID-19.

As state mandates were issued to close access to our facility we quickly complied. These restrictions help to control the viral spread but impose additional challenges in providing essential daily requirements to our housing resident. During the ever-changing circumstances we continue to create strategies to secure a healthy home environment for our residents.

Since March of last year, we have been serving three meals (prepared in our kitchen) daily to 120 residents in their individual apartments. From the initiation of this large endeavor our ALF Staff has worked tirelessly, with the assistance of our Public Housing staff, Maintenance staff and Section 8 staff to keep our residents safe, Covid-free, and well-fed. That is well over 120,000 meals delivered over the past 11-months which has been a daunting feat for our Assisted Living Facility staff to undertake. In our efforts to shield the facility we consistently evaluate the situation and adjust accordingly to ensure the care of our residents. We are so thankful for our dedicated staff as they have gone above and beyond, in caring for our residents, while facing additional demands and responsibilities during this pandemic.

Our Titusville Towers ALF has been approved for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments Waiver (CLIA). With this waiver we are able to test for the Covid-19 and get results for our residents and staff on-site, usually within 15 minutes! This is a major accomplishment in our fight to reduce risk and spread within our facility.

In partnership with CVS Pharmacy we offered the COVID vaccine on January 17th, to our ALF residents and staff. The organized event was well received and went smoothly with no adverse reactions to the vaccine recorded. This is a huge step in moving forward as we seek a path through this pandemic to save lives and expedite the reopening of our facility.

With our Senior population feeling the effects of isolation we reached out to our local community to join with us in making the holidays brighter for them. With an outpouring of love and donations we were able to provide a drive by parade engaging our residents in a socially responsible event to bring forth Holiday Cheer. News outlets reported on this event, residents made signs of cheer and good tidings and were able to feel some joyous Holiday Magic. Through the generous donations of our community we were able to provide, to each and every resident of our Titusville Towers family, special gifts which made them feel the true spirit of the Holiday Season. Our community made them feel loved and not forgotten.

During the past year our staff has been very creative in designing programs that fulfil our residents needs in a time that they were forced into a situation of isolation from their family, friends and loved ones. A calendar is distributed with internal activities that can be completed in their rooms, keeping them socially distanced but engaged in keeping them active. They are eager to get involved as they are entered into a daily basket raffle if they participate. This encourages them to think and engage their minds which helps with their mental state.

Through the Housing Authority's Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) grant we were able to set up a new computer lab area at Titusville Towers. Two new computers, a printer and new desks were purchased for the benefit of our ALF residents. We are providing computer training sessions to assist our residents in using the computers and software. Access to these computers provide our residents another avenue to stay connected.

We have received funds through the CARES Act - Provider Relief Fund to assist us in preparing, planning and responding to the effects and impact of COVID-19. The funds are providing us with a much needed resource as we navigate through this unprecedented time and are forced to absorb additional costs.

Due to the coronavirus we were forced to put our ground floor expansion of Titusville Towers ALF on hold. We are eager to move forward and are hoping that in the very near future we will be able to start ground-breaking on this project. The new ground floor layout will increase square footage, providing a larger library, recreational and up-scale dining areas for residents to enjoy. New office space will accommodate staff in their ability to provide services to our residents.

HACTV has received a Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Grant to install Carbon Monoxide detectors in each unit of our TT ALF.  This is another step in keeping our residents safe and secure.

At our Titusville Towers Assisted Living Facility we continue to be cognizant of our elderly population needs as we take necessary precautions to limit their vulnerability to the viral spread. We understand the emotional impact COVID-19 is presenting and strive to keep a healthy home environment for our elderly residents that call Titusville Towers home.

Titusville Towers ALF Team truly exemplify the title of "Hero" for the lives of those they touch daily. They have proven to be an exceptional team as they guide through this pandemic with tireless effort, dedication and commitment in caring for their residents who rely on them each and every day. We appreciate all they do as they go above and beyond in making a difference for our Titusville Towers family.



The Gift Basket Association, which Linda Gorin, ownr of The Best to You, is a member of, has a national movement to donate a gift box filled with healthy, sweet and savory goodies to doctors, nurses and health care workers in hospitals or facilities dealing with the Pandemic. They are working long hard hours, at great personal risk, and most are not even stopping for lunch or dinner. The boxes are filled with individually wrapped treats to give them energy, satisfy their hunger, and to show the country's love and appreciation for them.

You can order these boxes on www.thebesttoyou.com ($25.00 to $85.00 sizes), choose where your donation will go and have their name on the enclosure card. Or just sponsor a gift basket to a health care worker on the association's list.



Jillian Ryan has a business, Marie Mae. Most businesses exist to only make money. Jillian's business exists to create an impact. She believes that economic empowerment - through business - is the quickest path to improving someone's quality of life. That's why she founded Marie Mae Business School, working to bring education and inspiration to struggling women who are hit especially hard during the pandemic. Employers can help fund her business school and the women by purchasing a gift for their employees working remotely from home. www.mariemae.com

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